Amanda Sherwin

I Stood On Pointe for One Minute to Help Break a Guinness World Record

Dancers breaking world records before they've even had their morning coffee? Shouldn't surprise you, considering our next-level enthusiasm for absolutely anything that has to do with dance. And that's exactly the feat 300+ dancers—myself included!—achieved this morning on the streets of NYC.


A few weeks ago, dynamic American Ballet Theatre duo Isabella Boylston and James Whiteside sent out an all-call for ballet dancers to appear with them on the morning talk show "Live with Kelly and Ryan" on September 10. The mission? Break the current Guinness World Record for most dancers en pointe simultaneously: 245.

Dancers appeared on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" on September 10 to break a Guinness World RecordAmanda Sherwin

It was an instant "challenge accepted" from me. When I arrived at the "Live" studios at our call time of 7:30am, there was already a line of excited dancers half a block long (because as any dancer knows, thou shalt always arrive at least 15 minutes before your actual call time). I was assigned to a specific section of the street outside the studios, which had been roped off for the event.

Ready to break the record! Courtesy Amanda Sherwin


Students from the Joffrey Ballet SchoolAmanda Sherwin

Despite the rain and everyone's obvious lack of sleep, the dancers were in high spirits. And we were all pretty much instantly best friends. Something about the shared pain of wearing those boots for two hours in the rain made bonding pretty easy.

Dancers did what they could to keep their shoes dry!Amanda Sherwin

The diversity of the crowd once again reflected that ballet is truly for everyone—I saw boys, girls, beginners and professionals alike, and learned that many had come from around the country to participate in the record-breaking attempt.

The McCarter family, including Rosemary, a former dancer in the Yugoslavia State Ballet, her daughter Elizabeth, a former Joffrey Ballet Company member, and her three granddaughtersAmanda Sherwin


Dancers young and old came to break the world record, including 7-year-old Laura.Amanda Sherwin

And of course, it wouldn't be live TV without star guests! Boylston and Whiteside appeared about an hour into the event, and were soon joined by New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck, Lauren Lovette and Maria Kowroski. Host Ryan Seacrest, who wasn't afraid to admit he knew absolutely nothing about "on pointe," and Kelly Ripa, drawing on her 13 years of ballet training to join in on the attempt, also appeared onstage.

Dancers appeared on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" on September 10 to break a Guinness World RecordAmanda Sherwin

Guinness officials herded us into lines of five in each section, which obviously wasn't hard—we always stan a neat formation. After the officials explained all the rules about the attempt, the clock counted down, and we were off!

In order to officially break the record, we each had to remain en pointe for exactly one minute, and we weren't allowed to lean on each other or hold hands (but thankfully, we were allowed to bourrée, which we took full advantage of). I was having a grand old time using my port de bras, but looking around, most dancers kept their arms down with laser focus, determined to reach the goal. Before we knew it, the minute had passed, and we had done it!

With over 300 dancers participating, we broke the record easily. As soon as we were off the clock, we all high-fived and hugged, to the cheers of the crowd that had gathered to watch. The dancer next to me said, with a look of relief, "I totally cramped up in the middle of that, but nothing was going to make me stop!"

And that, friends, is why dancers absolutely rock.

Latest Posts


Left to right: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Daphne Lee, Amanda Smith, Lindsey Donnell and Alexandra Hutchinson in a scene from Dancing Through Harlem. Derek Brockington, Courtesy Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancers Share Their Key Takeaways After a Year of Dancing on Film

Creating dances specifically for film has become one of the most effective ways that ballet companies have connected with audiences and kept dancers employed during the pandemic. Around the world, dance organizations are finding opportunities through digital seasons, whether conceiving cinematic, site-specific pieces or filming works within a traditional theater. And while there is a consistent sentiment that nothing will ever substitute the thrill of a live show, dancers are embracing this new way of performing.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Alexandra McMaster

Start Your Dance Day With This Delicious Berry Breakfast Crisp Recipe

When it comes to breakfast, I want it to be easy and convenient but still taste delicious. My Berry Breakfast Crisp is just that. You can bake the crisp on the weekend as meal prep, then enjoy it throughout the week cold or warmed in the microwave. It freezes well, too!

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Liam Scarlett with Marianela Nuñez and Ryoichi Hirano during a rehearsal of his Swan Lake at The Royal Ballet. Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH

Choreographer Liam Scarlett Has Died

Over the weekend, news broke that 35-year-old choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former artist in residence at The Royal Ballet, died suddenly at his home in England. "It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam," Scarlett's family said in a brief statement. "At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss."

The cause of death was not disclosed.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks